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on November 30, 2017
Despite the ominous impression that the front cover of the film gives (as well as its strong amorous implications), the film is surprisingly lighter and sweeter and less sexual than its front cover suggests.
The film is alternately hilarious, deep, philosophical, spiritual, romantic, and touching. It has an offbeat and humorous style mixed with an intriguing story, characters, and dialogue that actually have wit and substance.
The film, at times, floored me. I did not expect such deepness and substance in the dialogue. And I did not expect to be moved. To me, by far the best scene in the film, the one that both mesmerized and moved me, catching me off-guard, was the mirror-scene with Angela and Andre. This scene was very well-directed, well-acted, and well-written. There’s a very poignant purpose in Angela coming to help Andre and it's revealed most poignantly in this scene.
Both Jamel Debbouze as the instantly sympathetic, funny, and likable Andre and Rie Rasmussen as the constantly entrancing, insightful, and mysterious Angela (or Angel-a) give amazing and incredible performances, making their characters feel very real and the romantic relationship between them believable and poignant. They have terrific chemistry and presence on screen together so good that their characters' interplay and relationship looks (and feels) iconic. It just works and that's also largely due to a story, characters, and dialogue that are surprisingly witty, funny, meaningful, endearing, deep, and well-written.
To those conscientiously concerned about content (like I was): though the film is not dark, depressing, or bloody at all, it nonetheless deserves its R-rating. There are no graphic violence, gore, or bloody scenes (thank God). There is some strong language at times (mainly F-bombs), but thankfully it’s not littered throughout the entire film (like in most rated-R movies). There is some strong sexual innuendos and actions clearly implied, but thankfully no graphic sex scenes or nudity are ever shown.
Had the director reined back the film’s cursing and strong sexual innuendos even more, I would admire the film even more (than I already do) and give it a higher rating.
That aside, the film is a very unique and original masterpiece - a romantic comedy drama unlike any I've ever seen before: it's truly hilarious, touching, romantic, and fascinatingly deep - good things that I didn't expect by looking at the cover. The DVD cover is very off and misleading. The cover gives the wrong impression that the film is something like Miller's "Sin City," but the film (I was glad and relieved to find) is nothing like that film. The cover on the Blu-ray French edition (with both Andre and Angela facing us) conveys the film much more accurately and attractively. Hopefully, one day the Sony Distributors will re-release the film on Blu-ray and DVD for American audiences with the poster/cover on the French edition.
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on April 19, 2016
Wow what a movie! This is some very seriously emotionally moving stuff. The subtitling in English is almost not needed due to the powerful portrayal of emotions by both Jamel and Rie. Each carrying a uniquely evolving role as the story develops, the perspective twists from each character later, challenge preconceived ideas in some thought provoking ways. I would call out specific scenes to watch for, but too many fill this masterpiece to name.
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on September 27, 2012
Ah, Luc Besson! I first became aware of his work with
THE FIFTH ELEMENT, that most HEAVY METAL of outre sci-fi
films starring Bruce Willis (Bruce Willis?) as a man
assigned to save the world; Chris Tucker as a screeching
interplanetary d.j.; Gary Oldman as a villain who makes
one trip too many; and the luscious red-haired Milla Jovovich
as The Fifth Element. ("Mooltie-pass.).

Then there was LEON - THE PROFESSIONAL, featuring the sombre
Jean Reno as a ghostly hitman; Natalie Portman as his
unexpected preteen protoge; and Gary Oldman (again!) as a really
over the top psychopath.

I went on to acquire Besson's early stuff, passing on THE MESSENGER
and his kid flick. He stopped making movies, started producing
them. But then I discovered this admittedly minor flick,
ANGEL-A.

Shot in in Paris in supernaturally beautiful black and white,
ANGEL-A gives us a poor, lowly gang write-off (Jamel Debbouze,
who played the "slow" green-grocer's assistant in AMELIE), about to commit
suicide because of debts. Just as he is about to plunge into the river, he sees
a leggy blonde giantess (Rie Rasmussen) on the next parapet who jumps before he
does. He plunges, saves her - then learns she may or may not
be an "angel" out to save him from himself.

Yes, for Besson this is a minor tale. But it is also a gorgeous
"portrait" of the City of Light, one which will leave you
with a smile on your face.

Thanks, Luc, for reassuring us there can be happy endings.
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on October 30, 2013
A black and white look at stylized Paris, by way of It's a Wonderful Life, with a wise, amazon sex goddess as the tour guide. The film fills the frame with dazzling imagery, the captivating star Rie Rasmussen alone handles much of that. But this is the Paris is cooler, cleaner, and more magical than the real thing. This film stands out from Besson's other work, in look, tone, and story. The simple, nuanced story seems to stall a bit here and there, or maybe it just meditates on itself. But it picks back up soon enough and propels toward the journey of finding out who you really are.
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on January 27, 2011
I ran across this DVD at a big box store one day and read the description on the back. It sounded good, but I wanted to see what other viewers had to say about it before I took a chance on it.
I was pleased that it got mostly favorable reviews, and since I really liked both "The Professional" and "La Femme Nikita" (which the director also did) I figured I'd take a chance on it and check it out.

After watching it, I can truly say that I loved it a lot more than I expected.
The characters were great and there were quite a few moments that were very heartwarming. One scene in particular involved Angela (Rie Rasmussen) trying to get Andre (Jamel Debbouze) to see himself as lovable and to accept himself as someone worthy of being loved. You really feel for him as he struggles to accept his self-worth after years of self-loathing.

One other thing I really enjoyed about the movie was that it was filmed in black-and-white. That's certainly not something you see very much nowadays. But it really added a lot to some of the scenes, as the director really took some beautiful shots with the actors. If the film had been in color, I thing that a lot of the details in the scenery would've been lost and the film probably wouldn't have been as visually appealing to watch.

I am very glad I got this and would definitely recommend this to anybody looking for something a bit different for a romantic-comedy type of movie.
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on February 25, 2013
I ordered this after watching the movie at a friends.

This is an adult love story...Adult meaning intellectual not pornographic...
I lonely man...with all the bad qualities a man might possess, yet salvation is near due to his understanding and demonstration of the best of the feminine spirit.
No! He is not a woman trapped in a man's body...He hides the compassion and caring we associate with the "softer" sex with sneakiness and foolish bravado we associate with...well, you know who?
A wonderful performance by all concerns and an adult tear-jerker near the end...
Forget anymore reviews...get it...
Hint...Road Home and Isle...different, yet spectacular romance tales...
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on June 16, 2016
I love pretty much anything Luck Besson lends a hand to so expect a lot of that flavor, which include obsessions with small talk, the underdog, alien looking women, French culture, scruffy bad guys, etc. The story is so wish fulfilling and far fetched its kinda painful but awesome too, because you get what you could wildly hope to happen in the film. Its risky, risque, innocent and so hopeful about life and love. It's just beautiful. Very different, but almost like a crazy dream that you never forget and makes you a better person because of it. Just watch it.
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on January 7, 2018
great,great movie about a loser who meets an angel who saves him by trying to change his loser,self doubting character.in the end we find they are both people trying to find something permanent in life they can hold on to.It has a great ending which i don't want to give away but it is very heartwarming.
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on June 23, 2016
Probably Luc Besson's best film. It had humor, pathos, and finally, a quite serious spiritual message which I think is still not all that common in the somewhat dark, gritty type of subject matter normally present in this particular genre of modern film-making. Also, a film has to be better than most to succeed as a black-and-white film in an era of color and over-use of special effects as this one did.

Highly recommended to any age, or to any taste of those who simply enjoy good story-telling.
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on May 12, 2018
The main character is, decidedly, unattractive.
The theology is dubious.
The actions of AngelA are … not particularly angelic.
Still, if you want to see a Luc Besson film about, essentially, two characters with no pizazz at all, this is your film.
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